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The patience and perseverance of Philip Paniamogan finally paid off last night as he turned in a career-high 25 points to give the Mahindra Floodbuster a 105-92 victory over the struggling Meralco Bolts last night in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.One of three players picked from eight players who tried out for the Floodbuster in the offseason, Paniamogan broke out of obscurity by making 7-of-9 from three-point land, making 11 in the second quarter to help his team secure its second straight win following a 0-5 start.
He was one of many unheralded players who stepped up for Mahindra as Jason Deutchman and Nico Salva scored 13 points apiece while Michael DiGregorio and rookie Russell Escoto added 11 and 10, respectively.
But the man of the hour was Paniamogan, who averaged just 3.1 points in 15 career pro games that began last season with a forgotten stint for the Globalport Batang Pier.
The former Jose Rizal University standout then spent time with Racal in last year’s PBA D-League Foundation Cup, producing solid numbers that allowed him to get an invitation to tryout for Mahindra.
It was there that Paniamogan caught the attention of Mahindra coaches and management, signing him and current reserve players AJ Mandani and Bong Galanza to contracts before the season opener.
“Madami akong pinagdaanan. Nag-Globalport ako tas nagbalik sa D-League, alam mo yun, pero hindi ako nawalan ng pag-asa, dasal lang panlaban ko,” said Paniamogan, deflecting the credit to the coaching staff who gave every player the green light to shoot when necessary.
MAHINDRA 105 – Paniamogan 25, Mallari 13, Deutchman 13, Salva 13, Digregorio 11, Escoto 10, Yee 8, Elorde 4, Ballesteros 3, Arana 3, Revilla 2, Celda 0, Nimes 0, Eriobu 0, Teng 0.
MERALCO 92 – Hugnatan 28, Newsome 19, Amer 12, Faundo 9, Uyloan 8, Daquioag 6, Grey 3, Caram 2, Chua 2, Nabong 2, Hodge 1, Buenafe 0.
Quarters: 25-24; 52-42; 73-64; 105-92.